In honour of Pride month and the LCR Pride march just around the corner, we want to highlight some of the things that Edge Hill does all year round to support the LGBTQ+ community. And how you, as a student, can get involved. And show your allyship.
Be an ally at Edge Hill
At Edge Hill we have a dedicated society, Edge Hill Queers, who help to create a welcoming and inclusive community for all LGBTQ+ students and allies. The society hosts events and activities to celebrate the queer community all year round. Runs sessions on relevant, interesting topics in a non-judgemental environment. And it’s a great way to meet new friends.
With two voluntary officers, LGBTQ+ Officer and Trans & Non-Binary Officer, many campaigns and projects are completed throughout the academic year. To improve your student experience and to make Edge Hill an inclusive and welcoming environment. The officers work hard to represent LGBTQ+ students across the University to ensure that Edge Hill is an inclusive environment for all. And they stand up for each section of the community so that lesser heard voices are listened to.
*Photo taken by Edge Hill Students’ Union
To celebrate all his hard work, 2022-2023 Trans & Non-Binary Officer, Kai, won Campaigner of the Year at the LCR Awards in 2023. For the outstanding work he’s completed while at Edge Hill. From delivering trans-awareness and inclusivity training for all staff members and educating them about how they can best support trans students to organising vigils and raising money.
We also host our own annual Pride Week. The dates change slightly each year, but it’s usually in February to celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month. This shines a spotlight on the history, struggles and culture of the LGBTQ+ community. Events have previously included a Pride fair, Queer Prom, crafternoon, Jodie Harsh (a drag DJ), Milk social (named after Harvey Milk). Plus many students and staff members attend the LCR Pride march each year.
And international days are celebrated too. Our Trans & Non-Binary Officer hosted a stall at the International Transgender Day of Visibility Fair. Featuring a bake sale, jewellery making and pronoun badges for people to wear. And a transgender flag was displayed for people to write their own messages of support.
*Photo taken by Martin Cornak Photography
Inclusive of everyone
At Edge Hill an inclusive environment is at the heart of our values. Both staff and students are encouraged to be aware of their actions, to be positive and inclusive. Edge Hill aims for everyone to feel comfortable and valued in their place of work or study regardless of your religion, age, who you love, what you identify as or the colour of your skin.
One of the ways we make sure that this is maintained is through the mandatory training that each staff member must complete. The training sessions highlight what staff members can do to stop and report discrimination. And their responsibility to be fair to all colleagues, students and members of the Edge Hill community. Staff can also complete optional training sessions. Such as, pronoun workshops. This is just one way to show respect and create an inclusive environment.
Toolkits are available online 24/7 to help staff to understand how they can support students. This builds confidence in staff which translates into better support for students. Even more importantly the toolkit has been put together with the help of our LGBTQ+ students who’ve discussed their experiences. And they’ve provided advice on how to be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community. As well as external links to find extra information so staff can become even more informed.
*Photo taken by Edge Hill Students’ Union
For all to see
If you’ve visited us on campus, you’re likely to have seen various signs of support. You’ll often see flags and stickers to represent different sections of the LGBTQ+ community. Not only does this raise awareness of the University’s support, but it also educates others about the different sections within the community. We understand that it’s important that all groups feel represented. And by being seen, more conversations are likely to be had, leading to more education in the community.
We proudly support and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. And we encourage a culture where equality is promoted, diversity is valued and the rights and dignity of all are respected. In the Hub, we have a dedicated information wall to highlight the timeline of significant dates and events in the LGBTQ+ community. To acknowledge the way that society has developed, with the hope that further progress can be made in the future. And to show our support for the fight for equality.
The history of Edge Hill
Edge Hill opened as a college in Liverpool in 1885. And we’re known for being the first non-denominational teacher training college for women.
This was really significant for the time and helped to support an underrepresented group of people – women. The University has grown from just having 41 female trainee teachers to almost 20,000 students. From the very beginning Edge Hill’s shown its dedication to include and represent communities that are often left out or misjudged. And it’s still a top priority to be inclusive of all students from all walks of life. We’re proud to be a safe space. To support you to become the person you want to be. And you’re free to develop as a person in any way you wish.
June 2, 2023